Newspapers and mags ads most trusted in fake-news times

Sendt av: Ulbe Jelluma 11/01/2017

Research in Germany shows that over half (54%) of all Germans have most trust in advertisements in newspapers and magazines. In times when we’re talking about fake news, post-truth and the filter bubble Germans have, of all commercial channels, most trust in these print media.


These findings from a December 2016 study (fieldwork mid November 2016) by the German PR and Communication Agencies Association points at the solid position of print media as it comes to trust. Looking at the individual titles obviously quality titles score highest; Handelsblatt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Algemeine, Wirtschaftwoche and Der Spiegel are each trusted sources for at least 75% of the interviewed. And in times of fake news and post-truth politics these titles all grow in terms of trust. Handelsblatt for example increased the trust level by 25% (compared to 2012 data). The fact that Bild Zeitung is among the lowest with only 17% trust (which is a decrease of 13%) shows the importance of quality journalism, tone and style of journalism. 

The quality titles offer brands an excellent context for their advertisements, however advertising revenues for magazines and newspapers are declining in Germany. Data for 2016 from ZenithOptimedia, show an almost stable situation for newspapers (the best situation since 2010), magazine revenues show the lowest decline since 2012. The outlook for newspapers and magazines is relatively better than the last five years with a smaller decline in advertising revenues.

The study also looked into the level of trust in different channels. With the majority of campaigns using multiple channels the correct mix will determine to a large degree the effectiveness of the campaign.

We trust most those who are close to us like friends, family and relatives; 84% trust them. Advertising in newspapers and magazines are the first advertising channel when it comes to the trust score. More than half (54%) trust ads placed in the print channels. Company websites are trusted by half of the interviewed, consumer online reviews score almost 40% which is almost the same as the number of people that do not trust these reviews. Outdoor, radio, TV, blogs and online advertising are highly distrusted, with twice as many people distrusting advertising on these channels than trusting them. An interesting case are the customer magazines. A great number of people, almost 40%, don’t know this channel and of those who are familiar with customer magazines more trust these magazines than distrust them.

In today's world, with consumers looking for real information and checked facts, advertising will need to select the channels that are most trusted by consumers. And as the Edelman Trust Barometer already showed in 2016, print media remain the most trusted channel.